How To Make a Difference in Central Florida

"I want to make a difference. I want to leave my mark on the world.  I want to help those in need.  What can I do?" In such a big world, it's easy to get option paralysis with all the different ways to make an impact.  My answer to that is to focus on smaller pieces of information.  Change the narrative to sound a little more like this: "I want to make a difference in my community. I want to affect change in my city.  I want to help my neighbors."  If this sounds a little more like something you can handle, check out this list of ways to make a difference in Central Florida.

Get active in one of Central Florida’s many volunteer organizations.

Here are a few to start with, but there are too many to count.  Do some research on the mission and goals of an organization before jumping in.

And when you just can’t figure out your calling, Volunteer Match is an excellent resource to narrow down which organizations you’ll be passionate about.  You can select causes such as Advocacy & Human Rights, Environment, Disaster Relief, Homeless & Housing—the list goes on and on.

Familiarize yourself with local government.

You don’t have to go to a protest or rally to change the place you live in.  Education is the antidote to ignorance.  Go to USA.gov/local-governments to find your city’s government website and view the calendar to attend an upcoming City Hall meeting.  You can even volunteer on an advisory board that corresponds to the topic you’re most dedicated to.

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Support small businesses.

If you’re acquainted with Townie Tourist, you know we adore small businesses and local makers that make our world unique. Check out the Facebook Live show on Saturday mornings for some unfamiliar local shops we explore for you! Alternatively, get outside and talk a walk around your own neighborhood. You will be delightfully surprised at the hidden gems you uncover when you look at your hometown in a new perspective.

Sync Amazon Smile to a local nonprofit.

Are you a big online shopper? Amazon Smile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. This is a more passive method, but over time small donations really do add up. As if you needed another reason to justify your late-night binge shopping…

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Have a cleanup party.

Central Florida is known for its beaches. The next time you feel like heading to the coast for summer fun with friends, turn it into an environmental-friendly adventure! While you’re walking down the beach looking for seashells, bring a trash bag and clean up as you go. Set an example and offer to take trash from other beachgoers. You’ll be getting a fresh tan and saving the sea creatures all at once.

Be kind.

At times when you sit down and think of ways to make a difference (as I am currently), your scope is on a large scale or about contributing to the lives of strangers. In reality, some of the most impactful offerings you can make are to the people closest to you. Call a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while. Reach out to someone you see clearly struggling on social media. Make a difference by elevating your interpersonal relationships. Kindness is catching.

 

What are you doing for your community?

Leave a comment and inspire us with your good work!

 

Tina Fleming is a partner at Townie Tourist and an Orlando-based travel and lifestyle blogger at Tina In The Sun. She's a cat mom, self-proclaimed foodie, and moonlight singer in an a cappella group called Geekapella.

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